Companies encouraged to act at Talent Boost Summit 2019

  • Concrete actions needed for attracting and networking needed for retaining international talents
  • Larger companies and gaming industry have best practices and for diversity
  • English as a working language encouraged in more companies

The 3rd annual Talent Boost Summit took place on Tuesday 12 November at Logomo Teatro in Turku. The theme was talent retention and how to boost business through international talents. The Summit gathered over 200 government economic development officials, company representatives, university students and recent graduates.

Recruiting best of the best

The event started with welcome words from Timo Harakka, the Finnish Minister of Labour, who reiterated that they are working to shorten processing times for work permits. Sonja Hämäläinen, Migration Director for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment then emphasized the need for concrete ideas on how to recruit and retain international talent.

– I want to emphasize how important it is that we are truly, honestly willing to hire international talents. We say that we are, but are we really doing it? Finnish companies already know the reasons for hiring internationals. But I think some are scared to take the leap, Hämäläinen said. She offered tools the Talent Boost Network makes available to companies. Talent Boost provides companies with services to find international experts to fill shortages that cannot be filled by local talent. This includes mentoring programmes, matchmaking events and workplace language and cultural trainings. She encouraged any interested parties to contact their local Talent Boost Coordinator.

Johanna Kakkuri, HR manager for Wärtsilä said they embrace diversity as a good business decision.

– It’s not about recruiting international talents, it’s about recruiting the best of the best – regardless of the background. We know there are many benefits to multicultural teams. When you put together different individuals, new ideas pop-up and we as a company need to be innovative, Kakkuri said.

English as a welcoming language

The topic of English, as a working language and having all necessary materials in English, was mentioned by almost every speaker and on panels. Terhi Pietari, HR Director for the engineering firm Ramboll, said that was one way they support hiring managers and by setting clear processes for international recruiting. In the fireside chat, all company representatives said English should be the default. Ilkka Immonen, CEO of BON Games said it is part of making employees feel welcome. According to him employees don’t feel part of a team when everyone else is speaking a language they don’t know.

Other speakers focused on the causes of exclusion and how to combat them. Inklusiiv founder Katja Toropainen stressed that there is no diversity without inclusion. According to her if an employer says that women or migrants never apply, the employer should think about why the company or organization is not attractive for these groups.

A more detailed recap of the Talent Boost Summit can be found here.

A recording of the 2019 Talent Boost Summit can be found here.